My wife Kim and I moved to West Virginia from Ohio when I joined the Fairmont State biology faculty in 1995. At FSU, I have taught Field Biology, General Botany, Advanced Botany, Fundamentals of Ecology, Global Ecology, Horticulture and Landscaping, Ornithology, Plant Physiology, Principles of Biology, Science That Matters I & II, Senior Seminar, Terrestrial Ecology and Tropical Studies. My favorite activities include gardening, landscaping, singing, birding, beekeeping, making maple syrup, picking fresh fruit from my small orchard and hiking in my woods. I received my B.S. degree in Biology from Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio, and studied botany at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, for my M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. My doctoral research focused on the ecological impact of the Amur Honeysuckle, a weedy shrub that has escaped from cultivation. I am concerned about the intentional and unintentional introduction of this and other exotic species (e.g., kudzu, chestnut blight and the European starling) by humans, which is but one of our many assaults on natural ecosystems.
- There are more salamanders in the hills of West Virginia than there are in the flatlands of western Ohio.
- Our best students can compete with the best students at any college or university in the nation.
- My goal is to make every class real, riveting and relevant. Some students enter my classroom afraid of science. By the end of the semester, most of these students are much more relaxed and believe that they can actually use concepts that we’ve discussed.
- Students probably hear way too much about me during the semester, because I use my own personal history to give examples in class. Most students can then more easily see their own personal links to the course material.
- I plan activities that engage students in my classes– nobody wants to be lectured to for 50 minutes.
- 6. Everyone participates.
- If the class size is small, students are excited because they usually get invited out to my house for a home-cooked meal and some class-related activity.
- I try keep the mood light and enjoyable in class.
- I show my interest and excitement for the material.